IMPROVE THE CAUCUS

The Neighborhood Caucus Is Not Perfect

And it likely never will be.

Poor attendance, untrained delegates, and general apathy make the caucus system appear antiquated, clunky, and ineffective. Are people really happy “giving away” their vote to some random stranger?

Even at its Worst, The Caucus System is Better than the Alternative

Of course, no system of government is going to be perfect, but comparing the Neighborhood Caucus System to other forms of local government, it has proven itself to be the most beneficial to a free people, the most difficult to manipulate, and the most consistent in taking down corrupt incumbents. 

Its members are as grassroots as they come. They are not strangers, they are your neighbors, including you. 

The Caucus System is limited, representative government at its absolute finest. True principles never become antiquated, we simply forget their value, until we learn what we lose when we give them up (the hard way) and return to them. This exact thing happened in 1930s. The Neighborhood Caucus was instituted at the beginning of Utah’s statehood. In the 1930s, Utahns assumed advances in technology would overcome the principles of representative government… with disastrous results. Once the cause of the problem was recognized, the system was reinstated in 1947.

What Makes the Neighborhood Caucus System So Great?

  1. Leadership Training
    • The Neighborhood Caucus gets more people involved. Precinct Officers, County Officers, delegates, committee members, all are volunteers who take time out of their day to serve their community.
      A good precinct or county officer will work hard to involve as many people from their precinct and county as possible, and while a relatively small number will be in a leadership position, 100% of party members are encouraged to be involved, and have local leadership to help them be involved.
  2. Vetting
    • The average delegate spends roughly 90 hours vetting candidates. They attend meet & greets, debates, town halls, tele-town halls, and meet in person with candidates. In fact, candidates are wise to take the calls of delegates, and often times they do!
    • Other forms of selecting candidates, such as direct primaries, must reach the masses by design. Logistically, they simply do not have time to take the calls of every voter that wants to talk to them, to meet with them at lunch or in their homes. It’s simply impossible. So what do candidates in direct primaries have to do to reach a larger audience? They have to spend the $$$, and to do that they have to have the $$$. 
      States that do not have the caucus system show us a failed experiment. Candidates must take bribes (we’ll call them campaign donations to be nice), to get enough advertising dollars to get/remain in office. This makes the candidates, as well intended as they may be, subservient to the donors, not the voters. 

How Do We Make it Better?

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The two major critics against the caucus system are attendance and education.  Let’s address the weaknesses, and turn them into strengths.

This responsibility will fall primarily upon the precinct officers, but strong executive officers will make this process considerably easier. Delegates can, and should get involved. It’s time to reach out. 

You can start the old fashioned way, knocking doors. Let your neighbors know about upcoming debates or town halls that candidates will be hosting. Invite members of your precinct to a neighborhood potluck. Get creative in how you reach out.

Once you have made personal contact it may be easier to reach out digitialy without your email being dumped to spam. We have the technology to reach everyone in our precincts with a few clicks of a button. Precinct Officers can create and manage a neighborhood/precinct Facebook group, and it’s pretty easy to do!

Step 1: Request a list of the registered Republicans in your precinct from your county clerk.
Step 2: Create a closed Facebook group for your precinct. You can find instructions on how to do this by clicking here.
Step 3: Email a link to your new Facebook group to as many of the registered Republicans as you have contact info for. 

This will allow you to instantly update your neighbors on anything going on in the neighborhood, let them know about a yard sale, and even remind them about upcoming  Republican events! It doesn’t have to be just a precinct page, it can be a neighborhood page that you also use to report back on events going on in the party.

One of the primary concerns we hear at the conventions is that first time delegates often have little to no idea what it going on.

This site is dedicated to remedy that problem, so stay tuned for useful training!